Mint

It has been over a month since I last posted about a herb. I am finally back on schedule and hope to stick to it! I however do not have my reader back and I am at my wits end with not one of the three companies responsible for this replying to my emails! However, that is a whole post all on it’s own.

True mints come in an amazing range of flavours and fragrances. While everyone is familiar with spearmint and common mint, there are many more mouth-watering varieties, including apple, chocolate, lime, grapefruit, lemon and ginger. Look out for curly spearmint, Kentucky Colonel, Moroccan mint, peppermint, black mint, Mitcham, white peppermint, water mint, eau de cologne, bergamot (mint), corn mint, red stemmed applemint, madalene hill, ginger (mint), pineapple (mint) woolly, bowle’s, Japanese peppermint, pennyroyal, Corsican mint and rau ram.

220px Mint leaves 2007 Mint

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

The ideal conditions for mint are moist, rich soil and half to full sun. You can easily propagate mints from cuttings or by divided clumps. If you don’t want your mint to invade your garden, grow it in pots.

Mints dry well in a warm, airy place away from direct sunlight. Store crumbled leaves in an airtight container. Harvest foliage to use fresh as required.

Fresh mint can overwhelm milder flavours and is best used with a light hand. Dried mint is less assertive and is favoured in eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries. In general mint does not complement other herbs well, except parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, oregano and coriander. It goes well with yoghurt and is used in Vietnamese food and in some Indian dishes. The coriander and lemon taste of Vietnamese mint is refreshing in salads. Spearmint is the ordinary garden mint and the most common culinary type. It is a classic flavouring  for roast lamb and its accompaniments, and it goes well with potatoes, peas and salads. Peppermint has a particularly strong flavour and aroma. The oil is used in ice cream, confectionery and liqueurs.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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About Tandy Sinclair

I am passionate about regional, sustainable and seasonal produce. I live in Gordons Bay in a cottage with my husband, our three dogs, a tortoise and a fish. We are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year we visit a new place to experience the food of the area.

Comments

Mint — 16 Comments

  1. I’ve been growing mint in my new little garden.. Good luck with finding your reader.. is that what you lose when you become self-hosted?? I wonder..

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    • Hi Barb. No, my reader is my BlackBerry PlayBook that went in for repair in June! I read all my blogs on it as I don’t pay for bandwidth as it is part of my BIS service here in South Africa :)

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  2. We grow two sorts of mint – spearmint and an old fashioned garden mint which isn’t exactly peppermint, but it’s close. It’s distinguished by slightly hairy leaves! :)

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    • Did you know that they cross polinate? I have the most amazing ‘new’ mints growing in my pots :)

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  3. I had no idea there were so many mints, Tandy! The common mint is currently romping across a patch of earth next to our drive. It’s incorrigible :-)

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    • It is the wildest herb I know! But it dissuades mice from coming near your house which for me is a good thing :)

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  4. I love/hate mint…sometimes it’s a bit too overpowering but when it’s used right, it can definitely make a dish!

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  5. Such a coincidence…I just got some mint from my sister and I am letting roots grow so I can plant in a pot…great post Tandy.
    Have a wonderful weekend :)

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